Sunday, 12 June 2022 : Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, this Sunday we celebrate the occasion of the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, celebrating the Most Holy Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the core of our Christian belief in one God Who exists in Three Persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. This belief in God Who is Three but also One at the same time is what made us unique among other monotheistic beliefs out there, and the one that we all held to be the only Universal truth above all else. For we all believe that God, our Supreme Lord and Master, the Creator of all things and the whole entire universe, of all existence and time, is this Most Holy Trinity, the Triune God.

The belief in the Most Holy Trinity had always been kept and upheld. Since the earliest days of the Church, the Christian faithful had believed in the Holy Trinity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and while there were differences in how the Holy Trinity was perceived by the faithful, but in general most of them believed in the presence of three distinct Persons and identities in the One God. This belief was also Scriptural in basis and also based on the teachings and traditions of the Apostles and the Church fathers who all received their truth and knowledge not just from the Lord Himself but also through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The most obvious passage is the Lord’s great commission to all His disciples, to go forth to the nations and to baptise all in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

This belief in the Holy Trinity is truly crucial and important as part of our Christian identity and faith, as we define our faith within the context of this belief in the Holy Trinity. And in order to understand our Christian faith fully we have to go and understand the nature of the Holy Trinity more fully. Many Christians unfortunately do not truly understand and appreciate the importance of Holy Trinity of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and quite often we may even see and hear those who had wrong and mistaken idea on what the Holy Trinity is truly all about. There are those among us who think that we really worship three different Gods, something that those who do not have the Christian faith also commonly misunderstood about. There were those who criticised Christians simply because they thought that we worship more than one God, misunderstanding the nature of the Holy Trinity.

Then, on the other extreme, we also have those who misunderstood how the Holy Trinity works, in that they think of God as a single God without different Persons, those who claimed to be Unitarian in faith as opposed to our Trinitarian faith. Those who are holding such thoughts and ideas are also quite varied in their thoughts with some of them rejecting that Jesus Christ is God, thinking that He is merely a created Being, a Prophet and not the Son of God, contrary to what our Christian faith and the Apostolic tradition through the Church have revealed to us. As mentioned, since the earliest days of the Church, the teachings of the Church, the Apostolic traditions passed down through the Church have always affirmed the Trinitarian God as the One and only True God, the One and only Saviour of the whole world, the same Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.

In our first reading today, taken from the Book of Proverbs, we heard the words relating to the moment of Creation, by the author of the Book of Proverbs, which was King Solomon of Israel according to historical evidence and tradition. In that account about Creation, we heard of the peculiar and interesting words regarding a Being that was created by God, Who was already existent when everything was created and formed, the formation and creation of the entire world and the universe. This was in fact an allusion to the presence of the Holy Trinity in Creation, as we can see from the Book of Genesis, of its first chapter when the author of the Book of Genesis described how the whole world and universe was created by God.

At the moment of Creation, if we go back to the Book of Genesis, we can see how the Holy Trinity of Father, Son and the Holy Spirit was present all in one, taking part in the work of Creation, as the one and only True God, Who knows all, has dominion and power over all, and oversees all of the entire Creation. God the Father willed Creation into being, and by His words, the Word of God, He willed all of Creation into existence, with the words like, ‘Let there be Light’, ‘Let there be a vault between the waters, to separate the water above the Heavens from the water below it.’, ‘Let the water be filled with living creatures, and let the skies be filled with birds that fly above the earth in the vault of the sky.’ among others, all of which heralded the Creation of the world.

The Book of Genesis began with the account of what happened before the moment of Creation. Back then, there was complete nothingness, and the whole entire universe had not been created yet. The Lord our God existed before time and existence itself, and He is not bound to time and existence. God surpasses time and space, and as mentioned in the Book of Genesis, the Spirit of God was floating and going around and about all things, this Spirit of God refers to the Holy Spirit. How about the Son then? The Son is the Word of God, through Whom the Father created all things, and the Persona mentioned in the first reading today from the Book of Proverbs in fact refers to the Son, as we see things from His perspective.

The Son of God is begotten from the Father, before time and existence, and He is Co-Eternal and Co-Equal with the Father. Since He existed with the Father from even before the beginning of time, He is of the same Essence, same Nature and essentially same as the Father, as part of this Holy Trinity of Godhood. The Church teaches that the same Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Incarnate in the flesh as the Son of Man, is this same Son, Co-Eternal and Co-Equal with the Father. While His humanity was given form only at the moment of the Incarnation after the Annunciation of Mary, His mother, but His divinity has existed from before all ages, just as the Father and the Holy Spirit are also Co-Eternal and Co-Equal.

The Holy Spirit meanwhile according to the Creed, proceeds from the Father to us and the world, and He does so through the Son, as is written and mentioned in our Creed, that the Holy Spirit, the Lord of life, proceeding from the Father and the Son, and with the Father and the Son, He is adored and glorified. This procession of the Holy Spirit must be understood in the context that it does not imply that the Holy Spirit is inferior or subservient to the Father and/or the Son. Rather, the Holy Spirit is also Co-Equal and Co-Eternal to the Father and the Son, existing before time and creation, and existing in perfect equality to the Father and the Son. Rather, the Holy Spirit naturally comes into this world and to us, by the will of the Father, and hence flowing from Him, and through the Son, through Whom, the Father’s will was made manifest to this world.

Now, I hope that through what we have discussed, all these can help us to better understand the nature of the Most Holy Trinity, the Triune God that we believe in. This is important because if we ourselves do not understand the nature of the Most Holy Trinity or even attempt to learn more about this core and most important tenet of our faith, then how can we expect others to believe in the Lord when the Lord calls us to be His witnesses and missionaries in our communities today? If others asked and even challenged us on our belief in the Most Holy Trinity among other tenets of our faith, because they did not know what they meant, or had the wrong impression or understanding, then are we able to respond confidently and share with them the truth of God as accurately as possible?

We do not have to worry if we cannot comprehend or understand the whole mystery of the Most Holy Trinity of our One God in Three Persons. Even many of the greatest saints and Church fathers struggled to understand the whole meaning and nature of the Most Holy Trinity, and it remains a mystery for all of us as well. It took the Church and the whole assembly of the faithful, and several Ecumenical Councils before the teachings and tenets regarding the Most Holy Trinity were formulated and standardised. And even so, if we were to study the history of the Church, there were numerous heresies and false teachings that disputed this truth that we have for the Holy Trinity, as I mentioned earlier.

And in one occasion, the famous St. Augustine of Hippo, the great Doctor of the Church according to tradition also received a vision as he walked by the seashore, reflecting and being intrigued with the nature of the Holy Trinity, and he saw the vision of a young boy who was trying to empty the entire ocean into a small hole in the sand, and when the saint asked the boy, who according to explanations, was in fact God in disguise, He explained that just as it is impossible to pour the entirety of the ocean into the small hole in the sand, hence, it is impossible for us in our limited intellect and ability to understand, to comprehend the entirety of the mystery of the Holy Trinity. We do not need to worry, but instead we should let the Lord to guide us and teach us His Wisdom and truth, and hold firmly to the true teachings of the Church and our faith.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, on this Trinity Sunday, the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, let us all renew our commitment to the Lord, our Triune God, He Who is One and yet existing in the perfect harmony of Three Divine Persons. Let us all ask the Father to bless us all and continue to love each and every one of us at all times, and the Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ to be with us through our journeys of faith in life, inspiring us with His obedience to His Father and His loving sacrifice on His Cross, and the Holy Spirit, for the guidance and the strength, the courage and power to carry out our mission of evangelisation in our world and communities today with faith. May the Lord, the Most Holy Trinity, be with us always, and bless us in our every good works and endeavours, now and always, forevermore. Amen.

Sunday, 12 June 2022 : Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 16 : 12-15

At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, “I still have many things to tell you, but you cannot bear them now. When He, the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into the whole truth. He has nothing to say of Himself, but He will speak of what He hears, and He will tell you of the things to come.”

“He will take what is Mine and make it known to you; in doing this, He will glorify Me. All that the Father has is Mine; because of this, I have just told you that the Spirit will take what is Mine, and make it known to you.”

Sunday, 12 June 2022 : Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Romans 5 : 1-5

By faith, we have received true righteousness, and we are at peace with God, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Through Him, we obtain this favour, in which we remain, and we even boast to expect the glory of God.

Not only that, we also boast even in trials, knowing that trials produce patience, from patience comes merit; merit is the source of hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because the Holy Spirit has been given to us, pouring into our hearts the love of God.

Sunday, 12 June 2022 : Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 8 : 4-5, 6-7, 8-9

When I observe the heavens, the work of Your hands, the moon and the stars You set in their place – what is man that You be mindful of him, the Son of Man that You should care for Him?

Yet You made Him a little lower than the Angels; You crowned Him with glory and honour and gave Him the works of Your hands; You have put all things under His feet.

Sheep and oxen without number and even the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, the fish of the sea and all that swim the paths of the ocean.

Sunday, 12 June 2022 : Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Proverbs 8 : 22-31

YHVH created Me first, at the beginning of His works. He formed Me from of old, from eternity, even before the earth. The abyss did not exist when I was born, the springs of the sea had not gushed forth, the mountains were still not set in their place nor the hills, when I was born before He made the earth or countryside, or the first grains of the world’s dust.

I was there when He made the skies and drew the earth’s compass on the abyss, when He formed the clouds above and when the springs of the ocean emerged; when He made the sea with its limits, that it might not overflow. When He laid the foundations of the earth, I was close beside Him, the designer of His works, and I was His daily delight, forever playing in His presence, playing throughout the world and delighting to be with humans.

Sunday, 30 May 2021 : Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, Trinity Sunday (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, this Sunday, on the Sunday after the Pentecost we celebrate the occasion of Trinity Sunday, the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, of God the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit, celebrating one of the greatest mysteries of our Christian faith and one of its key and core tenets, that is our belief in the one and only True God, that is One and only One, and existing in a Godhood of Three distinct yet united Divine Persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. This is what makes us distinct from other monotheistic Abrahamic beliefs, that we believe that the true nature of God is indeed, as revealed fully by the Lord Himself, is that of the Holy Trinity.

Many of us may not even know fully what the Holy Trinity is all about, and we do not appreciate this unique relationship between the Three Divine Persons of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. It is truly something that the members of the Early Church took decades and even centuries to understand better, which historically brought about many heresies and divisions just because some among the faithful and the leaders of the Church believed in a different nature of God, either in denying the divinity of the Son or the Holy Spirit, or in denying the distinct identity of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit, or in denying the existence of the Holy Trinity altogether.

Through the earliest Ecumenical Councils of the Church, those heresies had been addressed and outlawed, and the authentic teachings of the Lord and His truth were preserved as it was from the days of the Apostles. Thus, defeated were the heresy of Arianism that denied the equality of the Father and the Son, that upheld the view of the Son being merely the firstborn of Creation and as a created Being rather than Co-Eternal and Co-Equal with the Father and the Holy Spirit from the beginning of time, as the Church has preserved in truth.

Then, through the faith and perseverance of the saints and the faithful Church fathers, were defeated the heresies of Nestorianism with their belief that the Lord has two distinct and separate natures in the Son, that the Divinity and the Humanity of the Son were separate and distinct, or the other extreme of Monophysitism believing that the Son has only one nature, rather than the truth which is that in the person of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the two distinct natures of Divine and Man were united perfectly and inseparably through the bond of love.

All these showed us just how many among the faithful did not fully understand the tenets and the teachings of the Christian faith, particularly that regarding the nature of God and the Holy Trinity. That is why those divisions happened and threatened to destroy the Church and the faithful had it not been for the great efforts and perseverance from all those who had remained faithful and true to the teachings of the Lord and His Apostles, and defending the belief and truth of the Most Holy Trinity of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, the Triune God.

How do we then understand the Holy Trinity better, brothers and sisters in Christ? There are in fact many ways that we can use to appreciate better the nature of the Most Holy Trinity, in a more understandable and appreciable way. For example, St. Patrick, the famous missionary and Patron Saint of Ireland was remembered for his symbol of the shamrock, or a three-leaf clover that he used in order to explain the nature of God in the Holy Trinity to the pagans throughout Ireland, that they might come to understand Him better.

The symbolism of the shamrock is one of the ways that we can understand the nature of the Holy Trinity. For if one of the three leaves of the shamrock is taken away, then it is no longer the shamrocks as it is, incomplete and no longer can be properly called a shamrock. Each of the three leaves of the shamrock are also connected to each other and not distinct from each other while at the same time, each of the three leaves can be distinguished clearly from each other. They are therefore representative of the Holy Trinity, Three Divine Persons, but one Godhead, and one God in perfect unity, all Three distinct yet inseparable.

We can also use the example of the burning flame as a way to represent the Holy Trinity in a more understandable way. The burning flame produces heat, which many people for a long time had been using as a way to fend off cold and keep themselves warm. They also provide light to the place and dispel the darkness, so that we can see even in the darkest of nights and in places without any illumination. This light is produced as a result of the reaction between the particles involved in the burning, and lastly, the flame itself, which has a discernible shape, because it is in fact heated air and matter, that when heated produce that hue and shape of the flame.

If any of these properties and parts of the burning flame are missing or are taken out, then it will no longer be a burning flame. For example, if a burning flame were to lose its heat then we can definitely say that it is not a flame, no? For which flame that can be seen and yet does not give any heat, or burn us when we get too close? And if there is no light in the flame that will also be impossible, as any reactions that produce heat in the burning process will also generate light. And if we feel the heat and can see the light but cannot see the shape of the flame, it is also not a flame right?

Therefore, using these analogies and metaphors, comparisons and otherwise we can see that there are actually quite a few ways and observations we see on things around us that can show us briefly a glimpse of what the Holy Trinity is all about. The Holy Trinity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit shows us that while we can see the distinctive Three Divine Persons, manifesting Themselves in different ways, but They are all together, constituting the same, inseparable unity of the One and only God, the Creator of all.

At the moment of Creation, we can see all the Three Divine Persons at work, as God the Father willed Creation and the entire Universe into being, while God the Son, the Divine Word of God, is the Word by which Creation came to be, through words like ‘Let there be light’ and others. And lastly, God the Holy Spirit existed since before Creation and time, as represented in the accounts of the Book of Genesis as floating above the nothingness before Creation, present everywhere and in all things.

And when God created man, He said that, ‘Let Us create man in Our image’, in a clear and obvious representation that while God is One, but He also exists in a Trinity, inseparable unity between the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit, when this ‘Us’ and ‘Our’ pronouns were used to describe God in this occasion. Then, when the Lord was baptised by St. John the Baptist at the Jordan, again we see the Holy Trinity in action, in Their three distinct Persons, the Father’s Voice speaking from Heaven, the Son, Jesus Christ, in the water being baptised, while the Holy Spirit, descending down to the world from the Father and to the Son, in the form of a Dove.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, as we have listened and discussed today regarding the Holy Trinity of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, all of us are now then called to remember our mission and calling as Christians to be the bearers of the truth of God, including the mystery of His Holy Trinity to all the peoples of all the nations, revealing this truth we ourselves have received from the Lord and passing the truth to more and more people that they too may come to believe in God.

The Lord has commanded all of us to go forth and baptise all the peoples of all the nations, in the Name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit, sealing them in the Name of the Most Holy Trinity, believing in the same one God Who exists in the Triune unity of Three Divine Persons, the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. This is our faith and this is what we believe in, and brothers and sisters, we have to stand fast by what our faith is about. We must deepen our understanding of the Christian faith, the nature of the Holy Trinity and other truth we have received through the Church.

Now, let us all therefore dedicate ourselves to the Lord anew this Sunday as we celebrate this great Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. Through our common baptism, let us all proclaim our Lord, the One and only True God of all, as the One God, with Three Divine Persons, the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit, that all may come to know Him, through His love and through our knowledge of the truth, which we bear in our own lives from now on, if we have not done so yet.

Let us all be faithful and committed Christians through our lives, in our every actions and deeds, so that in everything that we say and do, we will show our Christian faith and truth to all, and everyone who sees us, hears us, and witnesses our actions and deeds, interacting and working with us, all may come to know that we belong to the Lord, and that hopefully they may also be touched by the Lord’s presence through us, and come to believe in Him as well.

May the Lord be with us all, and may He strengthen each and every one of us that we may always be firm in our faith and be genuine in living our lives daily with faith, from now on. May God, the Holy Trinity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit bless us all in our every efforts, good works and endeavours, and be our Guide at all times. Amen.

Sunday, 30 May 2021 : Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, Trinity Sunday (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Matthew 28 : 16-20

At that time, as for the eleven disciples, they went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw Jesus, they bowed before Him, although some doubted.

Then Jesus approached them and said, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples from all nations. Baptise them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to observe all that I have commanded you. I am with you always even to the end of the world.”

Sunday, 30 May 2021 : Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, Trinity Sunday (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Romans 8 : 14-17

All those who walk in the Spirit of God are sons and daughters of God. Then, no more fear : you did not receive a spirit of slavery, but the spirit that makes you sons and daughters, and every time, we cry, “Abba! (this means Dad!) Father!” the Spirit assures our spirit, that we are sons and daughters of God.

If we are children, we are heirs, too. Ours will be the inheritance of God, and we will share it with Christ; for, if we now suffer with Him, we will also share glory with Him.

Sunday, 30 May 2021 : Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, Trinity Sunday (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 32 : 4-5, 6 and 9, 18-19, 20 and 22

For upright is YHVH’s word and worthy of trust in His work. YHVH loves justice and righteousness; the earth is full of His kindness.

The heavens were created by His word, the breath of His mouth formed their starry host. For He spoke and so it was, He commanded, and everything stood firm.

But YHVH’s eyes are upon those who fear Him, upon those who trust in His loving kindness; to deliver them from death and preserve them from famine.

In hope, we wait for YHVH, for He is our help and our shield. O YHVH, let Your love rest upon us, even as our hope rests in You.

Sunday, 30 May 2021 : Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, Trinity Sunday (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Deuteronomy 4 : 32-34, 39-40

Ask of the times past. Inquire from the day when God created man on earth. Ask from one end of the world to the other : Has there ever been anything as extraordinary as this? Has anything like this been heard of before? Has there ever been a people who remained alive after hearing as you did the voice of the living God from the midst of the fire?

Never has there been a God Who went out to look for a people and take them out from among the other nations by the strength of trials and signs, by wonders and by war, with a firm hand and an outstretched arm. Never has there been any deed as tremendous as those done for you by YHVH in Egypt, which you saw with your own eyes.

Therefore, try to be convinced that YHVH is the only God of heaven and earth, and that there is no other. Observe the laws and the commandments that I command you today, and everything will be well with you and your children after you. So you will live long in the land which YHVH, your God, gives you forever.